Netherlands face Italy on Sunday in the final of the 2018 U17 European Championship. Kick-off in Rotherham is at 6.15pm UK time. 

Kees van Wonderen’s side have had an excellent tournament so far, seeing off Spain, Germany and Serbia in the group stages before a penalty shootout win over Republic of Irelands in the Quarter-finals. On Thursday, Netherlands booked their place in the final with another penalties win over hosts England after an edgy 0-0 draw.

Standing between Netherlands and their third U17 Euro trophy is Italy, who saw off Belgium 2-1 in their semi-final. The Azzurri lost to England in the group stages but wins over Switzerland and Israel booked their place in the quarter-finals, where they defeated Sweden 1-0.

Sunday will be Netherlands fifth time in the U17 European Championship final. They won the tournament in 2011 and 2012, but lost in 2009 and 2014. Italy lost on penalties to Russia in 2013 and are aiming to win the trophy for the first time.

The two nations have met twice already at this level over the past season. In September, Netherlands won a four nation tournament with a 2-0 win over Italy thanks to goals from Liam van Gelderen and Toshio Lake. Then in March, the two nations met again in Elite round of qualifying for this tournament. Netherlands came out on top again 2-0 thanks to Nigel Thomas and Daishawn Redan.

Team News

Van Wonderen changed formation for the tie against England with both Daishawn Redan and Brian Brobbey starting up front. It is likely that Brobbey will drop back down to the bench in favour of another midfielder, possibly Ryan Gravenberch who impressed from the bench on Thursday.

Possible Netherlands line-up: Koorevaar, J Timber, Hendriks, Musampa, Van Gelderen, Burger, Gravenberch, Q Timber, Ihattaren, Tavsan, Redan

Italy will start with the tournaments top scorer up front. Edoardo Vergani has four goals in five appearances in the tournament so far, one more than Redan.

Possible Italy line-up: Russo, Barazzetta, Brogni, Armini, Iweru, Leone, Ricci, Gyabuaa, Greco, Fagioli, Vergani

Netherlands players to watch

Daishawn Redan

The speedy Chelsea striker started the tournament on fire with three goals in the opening two games, but his form dried up against the Republic of Ireland and England in the knockout rounds.

Redan will be hoping to be more involved against Italy as he looks for the goals to see him not only lift the trophy but finish the tournament as top scorer. He is one goal behind the leading scorers heading into the final.

Wouter Burger

The lanky Feyenoord midfielder has been the heartbeat of the Netherlands midfield in the tournament so far, providing the link between defence and attack.

Burger provided a shield for the defence against England and will be crucial again to shut down the Italian forwards.

Mohammed Ihattaren

The star player in the 0-0 draw with England, Ihattaren lit up the game with some silky skills and a cheeky Panenka in the penalty shootout.

The PSV maestro will start on the left wing of attack and look to use his pace and trickery to torment the Italian defence.




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